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Hidden Treasures: Objects Found In Amsterdam’s River

Even if we don’t realize it, there are hidden treasures all over the world. We don’t know what we find when digging somewhere haphazardly or what is hidden in the seas or rivers. Between 2003 and 2012, while excavating Amsterdam’s new subway line along the Amstel river, civil engineers uncovered a wealth of objects. Around 700,000 everyday objects weave a history of the city, each with its own small contribution to daily life.

hidden treasures

700,000 ordinary objects were found in Amsterdam’s Amstel River during a subway excavation.

There are many objects from kitchen gadgets to technological devices. And it is possible to see some objects which are dated hundreds of years before.

“The objects paint a multi-faceted picture of daily life in the city of Amsterdam. Every find is a frozen moment in time, connecting the past and the present. The picture they paint of their era is extremely detailed and yet entirely random due to the chance of objects or remains sinking down into the riverbed and being retrieved from there. This is what makes this archaeological collection so fascinating, so poetically breathtaking and abstract at one and the same time.”

hidden treasures

Now a new site catalogs a portion of the collection and allows a look at each object’s history.

Below the Surface: Website